The Inheritance Guide

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A simple way to unlock probate

DIY estate planning reaches all-time high as consumers take matters into their own hands

  • Cases of DIY probate have increased by 13% over the past 7 years
  • 2 in 5 Brits are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to probate
  • The Inheritance Guide - a free online resource for those undertaking the probate process themselves – has launched in response to increased demand

The number of personal applications for probate has seen a surge of 13 per cent over the last seven years prompting the launch of The Inheritance Guide (TIG), to help support consumers through the often stressful and complicated probate process.

Probate is the heart of the inheritance process. It is a term commonly used when talking about applying for the right to administer the estate of a deceased person. Each year, on average, there are 255,000 probate applications for British estates, worth between £50 and £60 billion. Last year personal applications reached an all-time high of nearly 100,000.

TIG – now available free at – was launched as a result of this surge in personal applications. It is designed to help consumers to navigate the complexities of probate – by using a step-by-step guide – and to steer them through a difficult and stressful time.

It will enable customers to potentially save thousands of pounds, by providing them with the tools that select and populate the correct documents which are needed to apply for probate. Solicitors fees alone often cost 2-3% of the value of the estate.

This movement towards consumers self-serving is timely as the Legal Services Board (LSB) recently ranked probate the lowest ‘value for money’ legal service, with 65 per cent of customers claiming to have been left unsatisfied by current probate offerings.

Kalana Navaratne, founder and managing director of TIG, says: "Up until now, there was a definite gap in the probate market when it came to offering detailed guidance to consumers who had taken it upon themselves to administer the estate of a deceased person. Not only can probate be a daunting task, but it often takes place at an emotional time which makes concise, step-by-step guidance all the more important.

"Whether TIG empowers individuals to execute the entire probate process themselves, or simply helps them to better-understand the process before seeking professional advice, this service provides them with the tools they need to make key decisions at a difficult time."

TIG is supported by Prudential - a leading insurance and pensions provider, Countrywide Plc – the UK’s largest and most successful estate agency group – and Hugh James Group – a top 100 law firm.

Chris Haines, director of Prudential Financial Planning, says: "Probate can be a minefield of complexities, and it is just the start of the process. The beneficiaries will often need financial support and advice in order to help them to decide how best to invest money released from an estate. Developing an association with Prudential has allowed TIG to align its service and provide access to financial planning expertise to help navigate through this tricky and often stressful process."

Richard Freedman, Managing Director, Countrywide Corporate Property Services, says: "We are delighted that The Inheritance Guide has chosen to select Countrywide plc as a partner. "This new online service reaches out to customers in a personal and relevant way by supporting their needs. The array of forms and duties that need to be undertaken by executers can be daunting and this new platform neatly packages one of the major tasks that has to be completed, the application for probate. The platform also provides customers with access and support from the UK’s largest property services group. The convenience of knowing which local property agent can provide a market appraisal for the probate property is ground breaking. For Countrywide plc it is about reaching out to customers at a crucial and difficult time and saying we can help and support you."

Alun Evans, Managing Partner of Hugh James, says "We are delighted to have been appointed as one of The Inheritance Guide’s partners and look forward to working with Kalana and his team over the coming months. Probate can be an extremely complicated process but it needn’t be in all instances. We are very supportive of this initiative which looks to simplify the probate process for executors where possible."

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